November 20, 2009

More fall chores

Just when I think I’ve seen the last of the days when I want to work in the yard, a day like today comes along and all I can think of is being outside in the fresh air. Although I’ve pretty much put the garden to bed – I can’t lift the dahlias until the first hard frost – a walk around the yard usually finds something that needs to be done.

My Montauk daisy is in the corner flower garden. It didn’t do well this year, probably a victim of the miserable winter. I was busy with my vegetable garden in June, so the plant didn’t get the good pruning it needed in June. As a result, the plant turned leggy; instead of a full show of white flowers this fall, the flowers sprawled all over the garden bed and sidewalk, hardly a sight for sore eyes. So rather than leave it for the Spring I took advantage of today’s beautiful weather and took the time to do a hard pruning. (The green tape you see in the photo is on the dahlia stems)

In another bed I see the snowdrops, those wonderful harbingers of spring that pop up while there is still snow on the ground, have heaved themselves out of the earth and are almost naked. A few trips to the compost pile later, the bulbs are now covered in a rich layer of humus, a good mulch for the winter.

Putting away my tools I found the bag of bone meal; “may as well give those bulbs a dressing,” I thought, so I made another trip around the yard, this time to spread the fertilzer where I think bulbs are planted.

And then another chore came to mind: why not take a moment and rake the acorns out from the beds under the oak trees branches. After a few minutes I had a pail full. I wonder whether the squirrels will miss them.

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